People have long been saying that punk rock’s best days are dead and gone. Well, those people have obviously never heard of No Parents.
If there’s one thing the Los Angeles punk collective knows, it’s how to make good head-banging, ‘70s-style rock music. They seek to drive that point home with their new album Hey Grandma and the Greatest Hits, out now.
No Parents emerged on the music scene in 2012. Zoë Reign is the band’s self-elected frontman and vocalist, Killian LeDuke is the bassist, Ryan McGuffin plays guitar, and there’s Monty on drums. The band was formed by Reign in Los Angeles after the dismissal of his short-lived rap project Chico the Man.
After two years of practice and performances, they released their debut album May The Thirst Be With You in 2014. Now, after two more arduous years, No Parents is back again with the recent release of their sophomore album, Hey Grandma and the Greatest Hits. It’s punk, satire, and comical nonsense wrapped into one neat, little package.
No Parents and Their Glorious Return
The album’s title track “Hey Grandma” is divided into two distinct parts The opening part begins with expressive piano chords and a chorus of gospel-like vocals. Meanwhile, an orchestral string ensemble plays in the background along with the piano melodies. This part ends with a series of soft ride cymbal taps.
At 2:00, the song enters its second part where it takes on a more punk-style feel. Distorted, slashing guitar riffs appear followed by throbbing bass lines, and loud drumbeats and cymbal crashes. Its catchy, lyrical refrain “Hey, Grandma, Merry Christmas! / I’m in a punk band” entertains and confuses listeners. Other lines, such as “Thanks for that violin / I pawned it to get drunk,” are simply hilarious. Overall, this song proves to be one musically well-crafted joke.
The other 31 songs are all less than a minute long. The songs “Rehab” and “Show Girls” are filled with jagged, booming noise. “Fuck” has only one word in it. (Want to guess what it is?)
“Uncomfortable” starts out noisy and aggressive but then becomes more subdued and somber. “Dumb” is a self-directed insult where Reign declares “My friends are dumb. My friends! / My friends are dumb. My friends! / We are all dumb.” Then, there’s “UFOMG” which is brief yet powerful like an orgasm.
Adding to that, the songs “Vin Diesel” and “Party Boy” are short, musical bursts of mosh-inducing dissonance. “Balls” has a smooth, pulsing rhythm, and heavy bass and guitar grooves courtesy of McGuffin and LeDuke.
“I’m Sick” and “Louisville Slugger” both possess an angsty tone augmented by Reign’s growling vocals. In “Wifi”, the band pays tribute to the blessing of WiFi technology. Lastly, “No Idea” addresses the contradictory aimlessness inherent in life.
With their newly released album Hey Grandma and the Greatest Hits, No Parents captures the quintessential spirit of punk rock and throws it into listeners’ ears with short, direct blows of fist-pumping noise. Find more No Parents on Spotify.